So on Thursday the 3rd I was in the hospital. I’m going back this week for updates and more tests. It’s nothing serious; I just can’t feel my foot, and if the condition spreads, I’ll never walk again.
We’re calling it “neuropathy” for now. It feels like nothing serious because of how I’ve been jerked around. The podiatrist gave me non-prescription drugs that did nothing and seemed annoyed that I wanted to know why my toes had gone numb. My regular doctor was too busy to see me; his physician’s assistant was willing, then too busy, and on our make-up, caught a cold and left work early. It took me four tries to see anybody.
But man, fourth try is the charm! They drew a dizzying amount of blood for three pages of tests. I’m fielding a new unit of measurement for blood: “the Tarantino.” Sally extracted at least a Tarantino from me to see if this is a blood disease, diabetes, hepatitis, MS, or, well, I hadn’t heard of half these things. Eventually the joke became that maybe I was pregnant (it doesn’t know where to grow in me, you see). I promised to name it after Sally if I was.
So now I’m editing my next novel and waiting for a phone call to find out if something is enormously wrong with me. Is this just my foot, or will it spread? Will that symptom turn out to be the tip of an iceberg? Hurry up and wait.
I’m going to blog about this going forward. I believe in publicly exposing our most sensitive moments. While fiction is my favorite means of self-expression, this is a gaping wound in my life. Every living person walks around pretending they don’t have gaping wounds in their lives, and so I’m going to show mine, in the hopes that more people don’t feel so uncomfortable or driven to hiding theirs. Hiding what’s eating you is a terrible idea, not only because you often avoid the kind of reflection and feedback that might help, but because human history is littered with people who hid that their fuses were burning until they blew. Whether it’s closeting your depression, or shouldering cancer on your own, or a marriage that needs scrutiny and only receives silence – there are too many ways we hurt ourselves. I’ll happily embarrass myself to do a little good for somebody else.
If that makes no sense to you, we can talk about it.